Friday, 24 March 2017

Just another week

It t was forecast to rain on Saturday so I got up early and walked 7 miles. It was quite warm, cloudy but with lots of patches of blue sky; although there was quite a strong breeze. It was a lovely walk; I saw a Kestrel again and this time I saw some yellow hammers/corn buntings as well. Every time I walked last week I saw the Kestrel. I think it's the same one because twice it flew out of the same copse. I'm so used to seeing Kestrels hovering over the roadside it's a bit of shock to see them in trees and flying over fields!


Everything charity shopped. The jeans are the ones from the 3:16 charity shop last week; 1.50 (half price sale),  top from Tu at Sainsbury's;  the necklace is from Mercy in Action outlet shop, 1.00. The boots are from Lidl last winter and the earrings are about 20 years old. If you think I'm looking a little different in this photo it's because I'm wearing a nude lipstick instead of my usual red lippy! I was saving that for Saturday evening as I was going out for a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton.

Cushion bought in the Oxfam shop about 18 months ago.
I had errands to run in town on Saturday and I struck it lucky. I walked past the 'Reuse Shop' and they had a rather nice small chair in the window. It was perfect for my study so I bought it. The chair which used to be in the study was rather too large and it went on Freegle.  Last week I missed out on one on e bay because I forgot to check on it -  and it sold for £20 including delivery. My chair was £30 and it had just been reupholstered. Reuse is a charity shop and they have someone at this shop who reupholsters chairs and sofas and someone else who up cycles furniture. I have a floral covered footstool that I can put my feet up on (charity shopped, of course). I now have no excuse not to start my next crochet blanket!

All jewellery charity shopped.
This is what I wore on Saturday evening to my friend Cecilia's 60th birthday meal.  She and my best friend Ann went to school together in Luton and I got to know C when we used to go raving together in the early to mid 1990s. We had some brilliant times!

We had a lovely time on Saturday night although there was no music and no dancing. I saw a couple of people I hadn't seen for years, so it was great to catch up. It was such a shock for my friend as she was only expecting her immediate family...


These photos were taken when I returned from the birthday meal past midnight. I'm wearing my 99p Jaeger jacket; the skirt is from M&S but is very steam punkish (I thought) with the bustle at the back, it came from a charity shop in Kettering for 2.99. The black cross over top is one of the most  frequently worn and useful items in my wardrobe and is also M&S; charity shopped years ago.


This is Monday's outfit.  The top is for the charity shop bag as it doesn't fit properly around the bust. It says large but it's clearly not large enough! It's a shame because it's an Ossie Clark top; charity shopped but can't remember where. Everything is charity shopped except the leggings bought in a Store 21 sale.


Necklace gift from next door neighbour; earrings Sainsbury's.

The Red Cross shop was so full of bags of clothes waiting to be steamed and hung up that we didn't do much sorting on Monday - there was just no room! I did have a good sort of the jewellery and put new stuff out. I bought my daughter a lovely summer top off the pound rail - she liked it; thank goodness. I bought a green dress for myself for 1.99, and a a red  checked headscarf which I wore with Tuesday's outfit (below).

I was at the Guild House on Tuesday and was quite busy sorting stuff and pricing it and as usual I did a bit of a ironing. It's funny I hate ironing at home but I don't mind it at the Guild House; it's probably the fancy steam iron they have.

Asleep on my feet, here!
Everything is charity shopped except my daughter donated boots.


The waistcoat is the one I bought at the newest charity shop in town last Wednesday for 1.50; it was lovely and warm. The top is from Barnardo's 1.00 rail; trousers M&S, can't remember which charity shop; scarf; Red Cross on Monday.


All jewellery charity shopped except red ring; Sainsbury's and watch which was a Christmas present from my daughter about 6 years ago. I've had these earrings for about 20 years.

I went to the 3:16 charity shop to drop off some books and bought a maxi skirt with an African print for 3.50. It will be lovely for the summer but I may wear it this Sunday. My daughter is taking me out somewhere - to eat presumably. She sent me a message - ' Mum, on Sunday don't have any lunch and don't let Wes make you any dinner either; can you guess what we're doing? Lol'. It's Mother's Day on Sunday, of course. That's three weekends in a row I will have gone out somewhere - oh, the excitement!


On Wednesday morning I walked  6.6 miles with the group and I wished I hadn't! It was wet, cold and windy. I got soaked and was so cold that when I got in I put my PJs and dressing gown on. The afternoon was windy but sunny and dry -  wish it had been in the morning - it's called 'Sod's Law...'

The wind continued on Thursday but at least it was dry. I had lots of errands to run; I had my eyebrows done; I did the food shopping in Lidl and Sainsbury's; I also went to Aldi, two banks, the card shop, a gift shop and the dry cleaners. It was my best friend, Ann's, 60th birthday so I took her card and gift round to her. She was off to London to go out for a meal and see a show with her two daughters. I was glad to get home and put my feet up for a bit!


Everything charity shopped. The cords are by Primarni; the waistcoat is by Bench; bought it at Age UK in Bedford - which is no more. The top is by M&S. Everything is grey today - I just fancied some grey.


The earrings are from Sainsburys; the necklace is also a Primarni one but I bought it in a charity shop quite a few years ago. Bangles, watch and red ring charity shopped.


I bet you won't believe what I did on Friday. Walking - no. Charity shopping - no. Visited friends - no. I started at 9.30 am and finished at 3 pm (when I leave to pick the grandchildren up from school); cleaning my kitchen was what I did. It needed doing; I cleaned the cooker and the cooker hood, all the surfaces, tiles, appliances and the floor. It's time I begrudge but it has to be done. Oh well, that was Friday!


This is the green dress I bought at the Red Cross on Monday for 1.99. The kimono is also from there. Daughter donated boots; the green tights are also charity shopped.


All jewellery charity shopped except the earrings which are from Sainsbury's.

Oh and I are going out for a rummage tomorrow - haven't decided where yet but I'll let you know how we got on...

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Birthday celebrations and a swap


Our birthday celebration trip to London was brilliant. It was a really pleasant day; warm with the occasional bit of sun.


Here is the wonderful bloggers scarf - birthday present from my daughter, and the leather jacket was a Christmas 2015 present from her; boots, Christmas present 2016 from OH; hat, Christmas present 2014 from eldest grandson;  black leggings M & S retail; dress from New Look, charity shopped in Cancer Research for 3.75 last week.


Silver necklace bought in Age UK, Sandy two Saturdays back.


Earrings and bangles charity shopped. Watch; Christmas 2102 present from daughter.


We started with a cup of tea in West Hampstead and a rummage, of course! It got warmer as the day went on and I discarded the hat and then the scarf...I had some birthday money from my brothers to spend but I was quite restrained. I bought a bottle of Orla Kiely perfume for £15.00 (retails between 35.00 - 47.00 on line; a bargain in my eyes) and a pair of sparkly tights for 2.75 in the West Hampstead charity shops. We then hopped on a bus and went to Golders Green. They had quite a few charity shops and I bought a yellow cardigan for 1.99 in Barnardo's. We didn't have time to check them all out as a couple were closed for the Sabbath, but we were also running out of time. We had to get back to Chelsea and meet up with brothers and nephews.


Should have taken more pictures but here's the West Hampstead fire station. (LCC stands for London County Council).

 I have a soft spot for West Hampstead, although I grew up in Paddington, as it's where my favourite and regular disco was ('The Purple Pussycat' - I kid you not!) and it was a favourite destination for me and my mum on our rummaging excursions until she moved to Kettering in 1999.

After leaving Golders Green we headed off for Sloane Square where I was able to go to the eldest grandson's restaurant - he works there - and say a brief hello. He was rushed off his feet the poor lad.


Two brothers, one daughter, two nephews; OH and me in Battersea waiting for our meal.


The return journey. Missing  - one nephew and one daughter who had things to do, places to go, people to see...

It was a lovely day and although we all had sore feet (the oldies) we're going to do it again before too long.

Sunday was housework and cooking dinner for the family. On Monday I was volunteering as usual in the Red Cross shop. Busy, busy, busy. I bought a bracelet and a short kimono top (see Tuesday's OOTD). I still had birthday money to spend so no guilt feelings about buying stuff...


Everything charity shopped except boots which I'm sure you recognise by now. The tunic was bought in a Donegal charity shop. All jewellery charity shopped. It was another nice day like Saturday; with a slightly chilly wind but at least it didn't rain.


I wasn't needed at the Food Bank on Tuesday. When there are too many volunteers in we can't get much done as we are in each other's way and have to queue at the weighing scales for ages. Everything is weighed in and out at the Food Bank. If you donated a single tin of beans it would be weighed in and recorded!

Top; Red Cross, 1.99, red top; 50p rail in a charity shop in Royston; jeans, charity shopped and red boots bought on line.

So, I had a free day to do exactly what I wanted - sort of. I had a hairdresser's appointment to keep, I was cooking dinner and I was picking up middle grandson from a football match, but in between I was free. I went to Barnardo's at Great Denham for a rummage (birthday money burning a hole in my pocket) and they still had their 99p rail. I bought a Jaeger checked jacket for 99p. I washed it and it came up fine. I might wear it on Saturday to a friend's 60th birthday meal in Luton - yes, I'm off gallivanting again at the weekend!


All jewellery charity shopped except earrings bought with 50th birthday money in Bath - my 'Bath earrings.' I've just realised that was 13 years ago but it feels like it was yesterday...

I also paid a visit to the 3:16 charity shop in town as I haven't been there for a bit. I bought a pair of jeans; a necklace and a ring. I had planned to start my next crochet blanket but got engrossed reading a play by Kate Atkinson called 'Abandonment'. Before I knew it it was time to pick the grandson up...

On both Wednesday and Thursday I went walking by myself. I walked 7 miles on Wednesday and 6 miles on Thursday. Wednesday was the most amazing day; 16 degrees, sunny and a beautiful blue sky.


This was at the beginning of the walk. I'm at the top of a field and the housing estate in the distance is where my daughter lives. Look at the sky!


I met Mr and Mrs. Mallard out for a stroll...

In fact, I met lots of people and as one elderly lady, astride her mobility scooter, said; "the sun brings everyone out".

 Over the two days of walking I saw and heard quite a lot of birds. It's one of the pleasures of walking for me - what birds and plants can I spot? I saw:

  • A Kestrel
  • A Red Kite
  • A Buzzard
  • Magpies
  • Rooks
  • Crows
  • Jackdaws
  • Wood Pigeons
  • Dunnocks
  • Sparrows
  • Great Tits
  • Blue Tits
  • Coal Tits
  • Pied Wagtails
  • Meadow Pipits
  • Blackbirds
  • Starlings
  • Goldfinch
  • Mallard
  • Moorhen
I also heard but didn't see:
  • Skylarks
  • A Woodpecker



Near the end of the walk. I was going to the left and across some fields but the path to the right leads down to my youngest grandson's school.

I babysat on Wednesday evening for my daughter who was playing in a netball match and just remembered to take a selfie:

Everything is charity shopped including the jewellery. The striped top is one of the 99p sale rail bargains from Barnardo's last week. It didn't fit as I expected; it was a bit baggy at the bottom but it will look alright over trousers or jeans. I wore it over a denim skirt.

I also paid a visit to Barnardo's and the RSPCA in Ampthill  on Wednesday afternoon as I hadn't been for a while. They still had their 99p rail, too - I wonder if it will be a permanent feature? I bought a brown cardigan - I don't have a short brown one, and a green tunic; in the RSPCA I bought a tunic off their 1.00 rail. I also bought four books for 1.00, two of which were books by Iain Sinclair that I haven't read, so I was well chuffed. I've spent all my birthday money so no more charity shopping until I get to Ireland!


The weather on Thursday was such a contrast to Wednesday. It was cold, grey and there was a sharp wind. I took this photo of Ravensden Church on my walk as it is so small but beautifully proportioned.


Everything charity shopped except boots; Christmas 2013 present from daughter, and leggings bought in a sale ages ago - can't remember where. The dress is from Next; I bought it in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p in the summer but it will be going in the charity shop bag. I don't like it. The waistcoat looks better over trousers or over a longer dress or skirt - see below.


I last wore this waistcoat in November 2015!



I had a clothing dilemma on Friday; I wanted to wear black and white again - why? I really don't know. Some days I think I want to wear purple today or black and white...I usually plan my outfit the night before and hang it up ready for the morning. I started out with leggings; realised the top was too short, so added the skirt instead. I had to wear a cardigan as it was a chilly day. I think the top is too long for the skirt so may have to try the top with trousers and if it's still not right back in the charity bag it goes. I shan't be wearing this outfit again at any rate!


Everything is charity shopped even the boots. The tunic is the one I bought in Barnardo's, Ampthill for 99p on Wednesday.

This week I've put in the charity shop bag: 3 tops, a pair of jeans; a skirt and a dress. At the weekend I've decided to go through my scarves to try and reduce them.

All jewellery charity shopped.

Finally, the post title says " and a swap". As you will already know I am a great fan of Persephone books see here and ask for them for birthday and Christmas presents. A few weeks back, Rosemary of  'Rosie's Ramblings' here was giving away some Persephone books and sent me 4. Unfortunately, I already had 3 of the 4, and although I've managed to pass on one of the duplicates I still have 2 left. Does anyone have some Persephone books they would like to get rid of or swap with me? The 2 duplicates (both highly recommended) are:

'Few Eggs and No Oranges' - Vere Hodgson
'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' - Winifred Watson.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, 10 March 2017

A bit of a rummage

I have been doing a bit of rummaging this week...

I couldn't go walking last Friday as it rained heavily until 3 pm. I was so disappointed as I was looking forward to the Greensand Ridge walk, but it's no fun walking in the rain.


I bought these blue beads in the Red Cross last Monday. Earrings bought from Sainsbury's years ago. All other jewellery charity shopped.


Everything charity shopped except the boots - Christmas present 2015 from OH. The cardigan is from Monsoon and was 1.99 from the Red Cross. The trousers are by Roman and I think they were from Barnardo's in Ampthill. Can't remember where I bought this top; I've had it ages but it's a first time wear.

I went walking on Saturday with a different Rambler's group and did 6 miles in and around Sandy. I went early and had a browse around a couple of charity shops. I bought a silver necklace for £1.25.


Everything charity shopped. Dress from Red Cross; shirt from a £1.00 rail somewhere. Boots bought in St. Ives for 4.00. All jewellery charity shopped.


I bought these beads in my favourite charity shop in Killybegs, Co. Donegal for 2 euros. One of those bloody loops has escaped; I should cut them off but I like how they stop the garment falling off the hanger...I had to get rid of the checked shirt as, when I went to tug it down under the dress, my finger went through the material and ripped a big tear in it!


Monday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except boots - Christmas 2016 present from daughter. Youngest grandson took the photos so they're taken from a sitting down position! He won't be parted from his i pad that boy...


"Amari,  why don't you stand up and take the photo?"

I managed to find a replacement for my blue checked shirt in the Red Cross on Monday for 1.99.
There were so many donations to sort it was difficult to move round our sorting room - the Health and Safety people would have a field day in there. There was so much to get off the floor and into the storage room for steaming I didn't get a chance to sort the jewellery (which is my favourite thing to do) and there was a big box of it.


On Tuesday I was at the Guildhouse. It was a beautiful day and I'm sorry I didn't take advantage of the weather to go walking in the afternoon, but I'm trying to chill out when I've volunteered in the morning and catch up with blogs etc. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are my walking days and Monday and Tuesdays are for volunteering. That way, I have a rhythm and a routine to my week and having been used to the structure of a working week; I wanted to keep some sort of structure in my life when I retired.


Everything is charity shopped except the red desert boots bought online and the watch - a present in 2012 from daughter.


I bought this chunky blue necklace recently for £1.50 in the Salvation Army. It's next door to Lidl so I usually have a quick browse. I definitely have an addiction to costume jewellery! All the jewellery is charity shopped.

Rain again on Wednesday morning so no walking with the Ramblers.
Instead I went into town to return some of my library books and I picked up our train tickets to London. We're going to London on Saturday to meet up with my eldest brother and to celebrate my birthday which is on Thursday 9th. My youngest brother is coming with his son, my nephew, and his other son who lives in London is also coming; as well as my daughter and my OH; there'll be 7 of us altogether. My eldest brother has booked a pub restaurant in or near Battersea Park. My eldest grandson is working so he can't come but we will be popping into his restaurant to say hello and maybe have a drink there, too.

It's much cheaper to buy the train tickets from our tourist information centre. I bought a group save - 5 of us travelling from Bedford to St. Pancras with underground zones 1 - 6 included; for 13.85 each. The same 5 tickets without the underground zones was 70.00 online - 14.00 each.

I bought this pot from the donations box at the 3:16 charity shop.
I also had a pleasant hour or so rummaging whilst in town. I bought a lovely colourful dress for 3.75 in Cancer Research which I'm planning to wear on Saturday. I couldn't believe my eyes as I left the Cancer Research shop with my dress (and a silver necklace bought for 1.75), because across the road was yet another (new) charity shop - a Mercy in Action outlet store. And it was the grand opening day! We now have 13 charity shops in Bedford town centre/bus station area and 10 others scattered about - 23 in total!

 Of course I couldn't resist a peek in the new charity shop and had a glass of fizz and some cake (only a teeny tiny bit, unfortunately) as soon as I got in the door. Did I buy anything? I'm afraid I did. A tribal printed woollen waistcoat from the Sweater Shop for 1.50; a white linen tunic for summer, 1.00; a deep blue linen grand dad shirt for 2.00, and finally a book by Elizabeth Taylor (not the actress) which is not one I've seen in the Virago editions. It's an old hardback called 'A Wreath of Roses'.


Thursday was my birthday. I was 63. I still feel 18 inside although I'm a lot more savvy than I was at 18!

 Everything is charity shopped except the red desert boots - bought on line. The skirt is by East and was bought from the Guildhouse about a month ago for 4.00.


All jewellery charity shopped.

Someone who shall remain nameless let the wax from the candles drip onto the cake...
I had a lovely birthday.  And it was a beautiful day; a warm and sunny 15 C degrees. After I did the food shopping I went for a 7 mile walk, and when I got home I had a wonderful birthday cake and lots of lovely presents - an Amazon Fire stick; a floral DAB radio; perfume; chocolates;  a bottle of wine; some earrings; new pretty knickers (much needed!) a beautiful box; perfumes; a CD and a very special scarf printed with  bloggers including me - see below.




On Friday, I did another morning at the Red Cross shop as the manager is off sick and they needed more volunteers. I don't mind the odd extra shift now and again. The day flew by before I knew it and I managed to sort a lot of the jewellery and get it out on to the shop floor.

Top, jeans and jewellery charity shopped. Jacket bought in a sale at Beales (a local department store now taken over by the Co-op). Boots; Christmas 2016 present from daughter.


I bought the earrings this week on my Wednesday rummage; 1.49 from the Heart Foundation. All the jewellery including the watch is charity shopped.

That's been my week - how was yours?